PHOENIX (AP) – In an effort to stop a huge wave of new cases of coronavirus, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey ordered bars, nightclubs, gyms, movie theaters, and water parks in the state to be closed for at least 30 days from Monday night.
The Republican governor also instructed public schools to delay the start of classes until August 17.
Many districts planned to start the school year in late July or early August.
Both orders can be extended if the number of new virus cases does not decrease.
Most bars and nightclubs in Arizona opened after Ducey’s stay-at-home and business closing orders expired in mid-May.
Arizona health officials reported 3,858 more confirmed cases of coronavirus on Sunday, the most reported one-day in the state yet and the seventh time in the past 10 days that daily cases exceeded the 3,000 mark.
Since the pandemic began, 74,500 cases and 1,588 deaths from the virus have been reported in Arizona.
Hospitals across the state have started activating surge plans to increase their capacity to treat coronavirus patients as the number of confirmed cases increases and more people seek treatment.
Bars that don’t serve food shouldn’t be reopened, but scenes of crowded clubs using that loophole to return to normal were common.
Swimming pools at hotels and motels and municipal swimming pools are also ordered to close, as well as a popular location for snakes on the Salt River, east of metro Phoenix.
If the closing warrant is not renewed and night clubs, swimming pools, and other meeting places are allowed to reopen on July 27, local health officials and law enforcement officers can enforce strict social distance and pattern counting rules.
Private pools in apartment complexes can remain open, but they should limit meetings to a maximum of 10 people and indicate signs of restrictions.
The governor also restores a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people, and the state alcohol division ends issuing special-use alcohol licenses. Cities or provinces can only issue their own permits if they ensure that special rules are observed.
Most movie theaters remain closed, but the order closes those that have been reopened and prevents others from reopening.
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